The country’s wee small hours
If you were the president of the country, what is the first thing that you would change?
This is what a close friend of mine and I are discussing over and over again whenever the issue of nationalism becomes instantly related to a conversation about anything we have interest in. I keep on thinking this through because I still do not have a justifiable answer until now.
“I would definitely change our mass media first”, my friend asserts. “Mass media play the biggest role on how our nationalism was shaped over the years. We need a change on how we look ourselves as Filipinos.”
This is one fact that has been bugging me since yesterday. Everyone knows that yesterday marked a historic event for the Philippines- of a new hope and, perhaps, change. All the people in the streets (as I saw on TV) were cheering for and talking about the new president. Our neighbors could not control themselves yelling, “Go, Pres. Noynoy!”. My parents turned the TV on at 7am, three hours before the event proper, to show how excited were they to witness the new milestone. Everyone was enthusiastic and hopeful yesterday. Everyone but me.
I really do not know why did I feel that yesterday was just an ordinary day. I can say it’s not because I am not a fan of the President nor a die-hard hater of former President Arroyo, but because I can feel that the country has entered a vicious political cycle again. There was nothing festive to me yesterday. That’s it.
I can vividly remember that day before the May 10 elections when I was all confused whom to vote for the following day. The decision on whom to give my golden vote gave me the thrill tantamount to what I felt on which major to take. That day was like a matter of life and death, now-or-never thing. But the thing was, I lost my faith in mass media. It was just so obvious that there are media companies which were ‘campaigning’ for someone. That’s when I decided to trust the Internet more than what the mass media. I started to search for each of the candidates’ websites, student forums, Facebook pages, and debate and interview videos on YouTube. I began to make my own research on the Net without the influence of political campaigns on TV or the arguments of my parents or friends. I saw the various sides of the controversies, even those not aired on TV. Perhaps, this is one quality the Internet will always have over mass media- it does not protect parties and will never be controlled by people who are rich or in power. Does the Internet equates itself to ‘education’ now? But then, I think that had the Internet emerged generations ago, our parents should have had a different viewpoint from what they have now and so is the country’s course of history.
Going back to my friend and I’s question, I can’t still find an attainable answer although I agree with him that mass media account the most for people’s opinion on issues. But then, I hope that the first thing our new president will do or change has a huge impact on upholding Filipinos’ nationalism and pride. Now in the era of globalization, every country is in the threat of losing its own sense of identity while earning its way for global competition. Most of the time, I think Philippines is already about to let its unique culture and identity fade away. This may be sad, but I don’t want to be pessimistic at all. Never.